February 1980

The Courage to Fail

Author Affiliations

St Louis


ed 2, by Renee C. Fox and Judith P. Swazey, 437 pp, $6.95, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 1978.

Arch Surg. 1980;115(2):230-231. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1980.01380020096028

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Courage to Fail has been revised extensively. The authors have added results of their researches, obtained since their original work was published in 1968, in the maintenance of lives by the extraordinarily expensive transplantation of an organ from another person or by an artificial organ system. In particular, the authors have addressed themselves to the enactment of Public Law 92-603 in 1972, with its implied acceptance by the American people of the responsibility to extend, at enormous cost, the life spans of the relatively few citizens with end-stage renal disease. The last part of the book has been restructured to increase its sociomedical impact. Indeed, the time-budgeted browser can get most of the impact of the book by reading only the last section and perhaps only the last chapter, for this is a question book, not an answer book, and most of its questions are restated in the final chapter.

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